Fort Lauderdale and Minnesota reach final

[NASL] The No. 4 Fort Lauderdale Strikers and No. 6 NSC Minnesota Strikers advanced to the final of the North American Soccer League playoffs with series wins over the No. 2 seed Puerto Rico Islanders and No. 1 seed Carolina RailHawks, respectively. The game was the last for Carolina coach Martin Rennie, who will become the head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2012.

Carolina trailed 1-0 going into the second leg and twice trailed in Cary before winning 4-3 thanks to a hat trick from Brazilian Pablo Campos to send the game into overtime, where defender Devon McKeeney was red carded, forcing the hosts to finish with 10 men.

But the Stars won the shootout 5-3 when goalie Joe Warren stopped Johnny Steele in the fourth round and Lucas Rodriguez made it 5-for-5 for Minnesota.

The game drew 4,002 fans at WakeMed Soccer Park.

In Fort Lauderdale, a crowd of 4,233 fans at Lockhart Stadium watched the Strikers beat the Islanders 2-1 on a pair of goals by former North Carolina star Brian Shriver after winning 3-1 in Bayamon the week before.

Minnesota will host the first leg of the final Saturday at NSC Stadium. The second leg will be played in Fort Lauderdale a week later.

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